NiceHCK is a Chi-fi brand that focuses on audiophile products such as earphones, DACs, and DAPs. It offers a wide variety of products in its catalog and for now, we’ll focus on two products from its earphone category.
The X39 and X49 are earphones that come in a bullet-style design but with different sound signatures. The X39 has a bassy V-shaped sound signature, while the X49 showcases a neutral sound signature.
Although they have nearly identical aesthetics, they’re quite different in how they sound because of their sound signatures. And if you’re choosing between these earphones for your next IEM purchase, you’d want to know which would suit your tastes.
In this shootout, we’ll look at their similarities and differences so you can decide which IEM to buy. Let’s get to it!
NiceHCK X39 vs. NiceHCK X49: Sound Signature
The NiceHCK X39 features the ever-so-reliable V-shaped sound signature with a twist.
The energetic presentation of tracks is paired with adequate sub-bass extension to enhance the overall listening experience of the user. The added warmth spices up the mixes, making them more enjoyable to listen to.
The NiceHCK X39 is for you if:
- You like a vibrant and energetic sound.
- You like a sound with the right amount of sub-bass extension.
- You like a sense of warmth when listening to tunes.
Meanwhile, the NiceHCK X49 features a neutral sound signature which makes it more muted and balanced throughout all the frequencies.
The X49 provides a natural listening experience by closely reproducing the track. This characteristic ensures that users can listen and appreciate how the artist intended the track to sound.
The NiceHCK X49 is for you if:
- You like a natural and relaxed-sounding IEM.
- You like a muted IEM that allows you to enjoy the original mix on its own, without bass and treble enhancements.
- You like a sound signature that features accurate sound reproduction.
NiceHCK X39 vs. NiceHCK X49: Sound Quality
The NiceHCK X39 produces energetic tunes and stimulates the user’s ears.
The bass packs a punch that’s truly evident on the low frequencies. It doesn’t disappoint and it doesn’t lack any impactful slams anytime the mix needs it. There’s muddiness caused by mid-bass bleed, proving that it can compete with high-end bass head IEMs on the market.
Though the X39 resembles and represents the ever-so-popular V-shaped sound signature with a hint of warmth by focusing on the bass more, the vocals on the mids aren’t as recessed. The mids were presented with outstanding clarity and body without any irregular textures.
There’s a bit of mid-bass bleed but it’s not as bad as in the other IEMs I’ve tried. Though the mids are a bit more colored than the natural timbre, they’re still pleasant to listen to and don’t overpower the other components of the track.
The downside to the X39 is that its treble is lacking so it may not be ideal for those who prefer brighter sounds. It lacks presence compared to the mids and bass. Though it can hold its presence independently, it’s presented in a rolled-off way rather than a sparkly sound. The treble extension is also average.
The NiceHCK X39 is for you if:
- You like a sound that highlights the bass and presents it punchily, with no muddiness.
- You like a decent mid-frequency presentation, highlighting the vocals with good detail and clarity.
- You like a little less focus on the high frequencies but still well-controlled with a few peaks.
The NIceHCK X49 features a neutral sound signature, which makes listening to some R&B and soul tracks a treat. This is because of its balanced tuning throughout frequencies, which allows a natural-sounding and relaxed vibe.
The bass of the X49 focuses more on the mid-bass, featuring a quick attack and decay, rather than the sub-bass. This creates an overall thumpy sound, but not enough to overpower and overwhelm the other frequencies. The bass has good clarity and definition too.
The mids are well-controlled and detailed. They reveal details even on the lower registers of the mids, which some IEMs fail to do. No weird textures can be heard on the mids, but they can sound congested on busier tracks.
Lastly, the treble has a glass-like presentation. Its clarity is outstanding on relaxed tracks but can easily break on busy tracks and high volumes. Once used on busier, faster tracks, the treble can sound harsh.
The NiceHCK X49 is for you if:
- You like an IEM with great bass clarity and definition, even on busier tracks.
- You like a well-controlled mid-frequency that enables you to appreciate the smooth presentation of vocals.
- You like an organic tonality to the treble, highlighted through cymbals and wind instruments.
NiceHCK X39 vs. NiceHCK X49: Caveats
One of the things I like less about the NiceHCK X39 is that its treble extension is lacking, especially for someone who prefers a more open and airy sound when it comes to trebles.
Another thing I don’t like about the X39 is that it features an average soundstage width. Additionally, the lack of openness also caused the X39 to fail to maximize its sound stage.
Though neutral-sounding most of the time, the NiceHCK X49 does get brighter when it comes to busier tracks. This downside causes a sound that’s sometimes too harsh to listen to.
The X49 lacks sub-bass rumble, so I don’t recommend it to bass heads. Lastly, just like the treble, the mids can get packed in busier tracks, making it sound boxier than usual.
Regarding overall sound quality, the NiceHCK X39 blows the X49 out of the water as its sound is much more enjoyable. In addition, the cable that came with the X39 is far better in terms of quality. It didn’t create annoying levels of microphonics compared to the cable of the X49.
Going back to sound quality, I prefer the sound quality of the X39 because it’s versatile and more fun to listen to. But then again, people have different tastes and preferences in music so other people may prefer the X49.
Still, the X49 has no redeeming features to make it stand out among other earphones in this price range.
A man of many interests, Querho is passionate about discovering new things that stimulate the mind. When he is not writing about the things he is passionate about, Querho can be found making music at his home studio.